I live for the ‘wow’ when they walk in the door...

Ed O’Leary of The Good Room, talks about Live At St Luke’s, family, friendship and plans for the future
I live for the ‘wow’ when they walk in the door...
Ed O'Leary, who runs The Good Room with business partner Joe Kelly and they present Live At St. Luke's.

Tell us about yourself:

I’m Ed O’Leary, I run The Good Room with my business partner Joe Kelly and we present Live At St Luke’s as well as other events around Cork and the surrounds.

I also own and run uTicket.ie online ticket sales platform and help out in the family printing business, DAOL Design & Print.

Where were you born?

The Bons on College Road in 1982. Keep it local.

Where do you live?

All my family are from Kinsale and that’s where we live. We love it here, it was a great place to grow up and I’m really happy bringing my own kids up here now.


I have two sons, Cuan and Fionn. Cuan has just started playschool and Fionn is only one and a half. My wonderful wife Katrina is a teacher, she works in one of the local schools. It’s a busy time in our lives but we love it! I’ve two top class brothers also, Ian and Josh, we’re best buds.

Best friend?

Rory Fearon; we’ve known each other since the womb! He lives in London now but we still make the effort to see each other once or twice a year. It usually involves lots of drink, food and ‘the fear’ for about a week after. We are trouble when we get together.

Earliest childhood memory?

Learning to blow bubbles in my milk at playschool. I can remember that moment really well and many of the people who were there too, which is strange because I have a memory like a sieve. I have other early childhood memories of searching through rock pools in Garrettstown beach and my first dog Bert.

Person you most admire?

My father Mossie is up there as one of my heroes. He’s always so positive, has taught me never to hold grudges and that life is short so do your best to enjoy it! We’ve worked together for years too and he has some amount of patience with me disappearing constantly for meetings and gigs, it all works out though.

Musically, I think Brian Wilson. If I ever got the chance to work with him it would be a dream come true.

Person who most irritates you?

I think that my level of irritation with anybody can only be a fraction of how much I irritate them.

Who would you like to see as Minister for Finance and why?

I don’t know but maybe someone like Jonathan Sugarman. I would really like to see someone in this job who has the people of Ireland’s interests in mind rather than big business. I think more and more our needs and interests are being ignored over the interests of multi-nationals and corporations.

I like Stephen Donnelly too, he’s always made sense to me. I think the whole Apple tax fiasco has shown where Michael Noonan and that shower put their allegiance. Sometimes it seems as if they have nothing but complete and utter contempt for the general public.

Where was your most memorable holiday?

Before we had kids, myself and Katrina went travelling around Indonesia for almost five months. It was incredible. We went all over and tried to see as much as possible. Surfing, diving, white beaches, no shoes and barley wore clothes. We plan to go back with our kids at some stage as we feel that travel is an education in itself.

Favourite TV programme?

The Wire, closely followed by The Sopranos.

Favourite radio show?

Haven’t really listened to radio in years to be honest. I find all the Irish mainstream stations just pump out music from the big three record labels and bombard us with that charty American rubbish. There is so much amazing Irish music around and it does not get a fraction of the radio time it deserves. I used to listen to John Kelly on Lyric but haven’t tuned in yet since his return on the Mystery Train.

Your signature dish if cooking?

Red peanut curry. I can do a decent risotto too but, to be fair, Katrina does most of the cooking and she is far superior to me.

Favourite restaurant?

The Bulman, Kinsale. The food is excellent and the atmosphere is always great. I love seafood too and you’re getting the best in season there.

Last book you read?

I’m trying to remember the name of it but it was a crime thriller that my brother gave me. I hadn’t been able to finish a book for a while and needed a page turner.

Best book you read?

The Count Of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas. I love adventure books and that is about as good as they get in my opinion.

Last album/CD/download you bought?

Last one I bought was a download album called Precession by Ships, an Irish band from Dublin. I mainly listen to my music on Spotify. I’m useless with physical things. I break them or lose them unfortunately.

Favourite song?

I don’t think I can pick one. My tastes vary across the board and I’m into lots of different music. God Only Knows — The Beach Boys, Ernie — Fat Freddy’s Drop, The Sailor’s Bonnet — The Gloaming would all be up there.

One person you would like to see in concert?

Brian Wilson, I think he’s one of the most talented composers ever to have lived. I’m lucky enough to have seen many of my favourite artists in concert already and have even put some of them, such as Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, on myself.

Do you have a pet?

Yes, a golden Lab / Retriever called Boo and a cat called Susu. I’ve always been mad about animals and would love to have loads of them when I’m bigger :).

Morning person or night owl?

Both, actually. I stay up until 1am / 2am sometimes and I get up between 6am and 7am most mornings. It can be a struggle to get up at that time but once I’m up that’s it, I’m awake and ready to go. You’ve no choice when you have smallies!

Your proudest moment?

Well, the birth of my children is definitely my top two moments, even though I didn’t have to do the real hard work there.

I’m really proud of what myself and Joe have achieved with Live At St Luke’s, we both put our heart and souls into those shows and have a huge grá for the space itself. I think it was during the first Little Green Cars concert there in August, 2015, when I stood back and took stock of what was happening. I felt really proud with our work.

I love when someone who hasn’t been there before comes through the doors and says ‘wow’, I live for that ‘wow’ and it’s not only the gig goers who we get it from, the bands too. When they come off stage and say ‘that was amazing’ then I know we’ve done a good job.

Even in the last few days two of the acts we have coming up, Seamus Fogarty and Lankum, have both received 5 star reviews for their albums in The Guardian. When I see stuff like that and we have them on our line up then those are small proud moments.

Spendthrift or saver?

Both, I run a tight ship when it comes to work finances but if I have it I‘ll spend it personally. I’ve been trying to save more but it’s hard. There’s always something.

Name one thing you would improve in your area in which you live?

Restore the Municipal Hall in Kinsale to a working venue again. We are venue-starved in Kinsale. Loads of pubs and restaurants but no real theatre for music, drama or arts in general. There has been a lot of talk about getting the Municipal Hall back in action and I really hope it happens.

What makes you happy?

Having time with my family, the beach, days off, good music, good food, good company. I’m pretty happy most of the time.

How would you like to be remembered?

For being a genuine human being and a brilliant dad / husband.

What else are you up to at the moment?

Business-wise, myself and Joe (The Good Room) are gearing up to announce a new festival we’re running in Cork in April and working on all the Live At St Luke’s shows we have coming up and booking for 2018.

I also own and run the ticket sales website uTicket and I’m just starting development of our new app for the platform so that’s exciting too! Lots of plans, big plans, all go!

Be sure to check out the bumper line-up of gigs we have in St Luke’s this month and all through December, there’s something there for everyone!

See www.liveatstlukes.com

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